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“Oceanside Restaurant/Bar”
Review of The Don CeSar

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The Don CeSar
Ranked #7 of 32 Hotels in St. Pete Beach
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed July 29, 2013

We stayed at a local motel, but came here for dinner and were REALLY glad we did! The food was incredible and the view of the ocean was even more incredible. My husband ordered a scallop plate and I had an eggplant with rice noodle dinner. Very good food!

We snuck around a little on the property and found that it is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year. Just beautiful inside, and being history buffs, we were very glad to see it restored and being used for its original purpose!

Room Tip: Have the restaurant validate your parking pass so you can park for free.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank GAhometown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DanielWalsh, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2013

Dear GAhometown,

Thank you for sharing your dinner experience with us on Trip Advisor! I'm glad you enjoyed your dinners thoroughly, and also took the time to explore the property and learn about our history. After 85 years we certainly have a lot of it!

Hopefully next time we will be able to welcome you to the hotel as overnight guests as well!



Warmest Regards,

Daniel Walsh, VIP Manager

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2,639 - 2,645 of 3,785 reviews

Reviewed July 29, 2013

I decided to surprise my wife for her birthday with a weekend at the Don CeSar. We live in St. Pete, about 20 minutes away, and even though the hotel is very close but we've never taken the time to stay here.

We arrived late Friday afternoon. We were greeted warmly by a valet who was also dealing with the two guests who just arrived in the car in front of us. Within a minute he came up and took my information, gave me my valet ticket and then told me to pull my luggage out of the vehicle, set it on the curb, and someone would be by to pick it up. As walked off to attend to the guests in front of us, I looked at my wife, then the group of 5 bellman standing there and said "seriously?" to my wife. After a couple of minutes, he came back, unloaded our vehicle, and the bellman put them on a cart. Check-in was quick and pleasant. The eUpgrade I requested on my reservation came through, so that was very nice.

Our room was a luxury king with a partial view of the Gulf and a bit of a view of the Intracoastal Waterway. While rather small, it was very well appointed and clean. Lots of light colors, with light blue hues of the sea - very well decorated. This is a very old hotel so I get the smaller room and it was fine for the two of us. There is a $22 resort fee, per day, that includes two bottles of water, newspaper, wireless for 3 devices, and a few other inconsequential items that I can't recall. I did have to call to ask when our luggage was to be delivered tough. All told, it took about 30-40 minutes to get our bags. That's a bit too long, especially when not many people were checking in at the time we got there and when they had an abundance of bellmen.

Friday was my wife's birthday so I took her to the Maritana Grille. I'm doing a review of that separately so all I'll say here is excellent food and service but expensive. We did have a very nice time. Afterward, we went to the lobby bar and enjoyed after dinner drinks. The servers were very attentive and pleasant.

Saturday was a day at the beach. The beach bar and pool area looked very nice with lots of chairs and amenities. We went straight for the beach itself. We got out there mid-morning and rented two lounge chairs and an umbrella. The service was top notch. They set up the chairs and cover them with towels and then leave you a small table to use. They had water dispensers on the beach filled with plain and citrus infused water. Towels were refreshed whenever we wanted to get them from the booth nearby. Wait staff was very visible all day and very friendly. They couldn't bring beer/cocktails out on the beach so you had to go back to the beach bar. It was no problem for me. The beach bar was slammed but the bartenders did a phenomenal job of keeping up with it. We had a turkey burger as a late lunch on the beach. It was very tasty and was not time at all from order to having our food. All told, we were on the beach from about 10:30 to about 4:00. Great time. The two lounges and umbrella came to about $50 after taxes, etc. A bit pricey but it sure helped keep me out of the sun and my wife in it.

Dinner on Saturday was at the Sea Porch restaurant on premises (separate review coming on TA). The food and service were very good. I guess the only drawback for me was the fact that due to its adjacency to the beach bar, people would walk through the dining room. I could see on busier days this being very disruptive to the diners but during our meal it wasn't too bad. It just seemed odd. After dinner we strolled around the shops until it was close to sunset. Then we walked back out to the beach to catch a beautiful sunset. Afterward, we went back to the beach bar for a sunset drink. The same bartenders were working! Long day for them. We walked around the grounds a bit more then to the lobby bar for a nightcap and then retired for the evening. Sleep was interrupted due to noisy guests in the hall. There was a wedding reception on premises and I many of the guests were staying at the hotel. To be fair, I would blame the noise on the intoxicated guests and not the lack of sleep quality of lack of soundproofing of the rooms.

Sunday was check out day. The bill was emailed to me and all I had to do was reply with my name and room number and that was the extent of checkout. I called for the bellman and they also wanted the numbers for my valet so they could have my vehicle waiting. the bellman was very prompt. He escorted us to the entrance but the valet had not brought the vehicle. We only waited a minute or so. He loaded the luggage and left us with a couple of bottles of very cold water.

All in all a very pleasant experience. I will definitely say it is very expensive to stay and/or eat at the Don CeSar. There are many fees to pay each day. The drinks are very expensive as is the food. Frankly that's true with all resorts, but I thought the Don was a bit more than other similar resorts. Except for the two minor issues with valet and bell staff on check in day, the service was outstanding. The food was also top notch. I'm giving the resort a "very good" instead of "excellent" simply because I thought their prices were a bit too high even when comparing to similar resorts.

I would most definitely stay here again and would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank reiddg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DanielWalsh, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2013

Dear reiddg,

Thank you for taking the time to post such a thorough review of your recent experience at the Don CeSar!

It appears as though there are a couple areas of opportunity for us to address, however, I am delighted to read you enjoyed your stay very much. Specifically, it was great to hear about how you enjoyed your experience at the restaurants, in particular the Maritana Grille, and with the service throughout the property with the small exceptions.

I will look forward to your reviews of the property restaurants, and we will also look forward to your next visit. Thank you again for the great review!


Warmest Regards,

Daniel Walsh, VIP Manager

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Reviewed July 29, 2013

I have lived in the Tampa Bay area for years and during that time the Don Cesar was "The" hotel you needed to stay at. Recently I had an opportunity to do so and found myself disappointed. Without a doubt it is a beautiful, well maintained and posh place to stay but a poor value overall for the money.

Apart from the room everything is an extra charge. The Resort Fee covered only those thing I would expect to be free such as WiFi, Fitness Center Access, in room coffee and turn down service (on request). If you wish to sit on the beach it cost and additional $60 per day to rent two lounge chairs with a cover. Apart from the Spa (about $100/hr) and the beach there was nothing to do on property. Other nearby resorts have free (included with their resort fees) paddle boats, multiple pools, water slides, beach chairs, umbrellas etc. I also found it strange that the collected the chair pads and towels poolside at 4 PM given that sunset was at 8:30.

Service was excellent, prompt and polite. Room service like most hotels was way overprice. I would be hard pressed to recommend this hotel simply because it is a poor value.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank Jeb1217
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DanielWalsh, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this reviewResponded August 8, 2013

Dear Jeb1217,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at the Don CeSar!

I'm glad you found the hotel to be beautiful and for the service to be top notch. We pride ourselves on our service levels and consistently look to be the best.

As for your experiences with our fees on property, I am happy to let you know we do have some great packages available that include amenities such as the beach chairs you mentioned. If you have any questions or would like me to discuss any of these different package options with you it would be my pleasure.

Thank you again for your feedback, we hope to welcome you back very soon!


Warmest Regards,

Daniel Walsh, VIP Manager

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Reviewed July 28, 2013

Yes the don is historic and beautiful but just too many kids to relax for an couple that wants to get away. We have now stayed here several times and i think this willl be the last. Kids yelling, splashing with no concequences. I just dont understand why one pool isnt adult only, many couples young and old aporoached us and asked. We were married here and try to stay one weekend a year but we just cant do it anymore. Too many kids

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank tim g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DanielWalsh, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this reviewResponded August 8, 2013

Dear tim g,

We appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback regarding your recent visit. With so much history between the hotel and yourself we would hate for you to not continue sharing your special occasions with us and making new memories. Although we are very much a kid friendly property, there are many times throughout the year when we experience less young visitors than others.

Before you seek an alternative destination please let me know if I can be of any assistance with a future booking. We would love to continue to be your first choice when planning a trip. Thank you for your feedback, I hope to speak with you soon!


Warmest Regards,

Daniel Walsh, VIP Manager

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Reviewed July 27, 2013

This is an amazing property. If you are a meeting planner it will be your dream come true. If you are looking for a vacation, this is it. The hotel is on the Historic Registry, so the rooms are individual. Note that they are a beach front hotel and bay view - and most of the rooms do not have a balcony - but being in this Historic Resort you will always remember this place. Beach is great, food, service, etc. You can't go wrong here. Also, be sure to read up on the history of the resort before you go. It will amaze you !

Room Tip: If you want a balcony you will pay more but it's worth it.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank travelagentnc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DanielWalsh, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this reviewResponded August 8, 2013

Dear travelagentnc,

Thank you for the kind words regarding your recent visit!

You seem to have taken the time to enjoy many areas throughout the hotel, and I'm glad you found the history, service, and outlets to be exceptional. We are very lucky to have the benefit of being located in such an amazing scene such as St. Pete Beach. As you mentioned, the history and service takes care of the rest to provide our guests with a memorable experience.

Thank you for the review, I hope to have the chance to welcome you back soon!


Best,

Daniel Walsh, VIP Manager

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Reviewed July 25, 2013

Just spent two nights at this lovely hotel on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Since we were traveling with our pet dog, we were in a pet friendly room on the first floor. Convenient for getting in and out of the hotel quickly; however, our room #121 was directly behind the registration desk and apparently where the hotel staff meets in the morning. In the early hours of the morning we could hear loud voices from the staff talking and laughing. Fortunately, our dog was not barking; however, if she did, I would bet that there would have been complaints from other guests. However, I did not contact the front desk about this, but information for the next pet guest.

However, the staff was gracious and the hotel was pristine in every way. We would definitely go back again.

Room Tip: I am sure a room on a high floor would be spectacular; however, if price is no object, go for it.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank lilifisher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DanielWalsh, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this reviewResponded August 8, 2013

Dear lilifisher,

Thank you for the great feedback!

We will certainly follow up with our team members to be quieter during the morning hours as we do not ever want to disturb those guests staying in 121. Great feedback, thank you!

As for the room itself, 121 is a true testament to how this property is so individual due to the historic nature. Because of the layout of the property, 121 is a Superior Room that is oversized, has a large bathroom featuring a separate shower and a footed tub (how rare!), and a sitting area with a sofa. I'm glad you were able to enjoy this one-of-a-kind layout for our Superior Room category!

Thank you again for the feedback and for taking the time to write a review. We hope to welcome you back the next time your family is planning a trip to St. Pete Beach!


Warmest Regards,

Daniel Walsh, VIP Manager

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Reviewed July 22, 2013

My kids couldn't decide on a vacation at the beach or the parks so I compromised. I have stayed at Don Cesar before so I decided to bring the kids this time. My kids loved it!! The rooms (we stayed in a superior with two full beds) were a little small but we spent such little time there it was fine. The beds were very comfortable! The staff was very courteous and helpful. The pools were crowded But we managed to find poolside chairs and the kids had a blast. The beach was great and the kids built a huge sand castle and enjoyed the Gulf!! We alternated days between the beach and Busch Gardens which is only about 45 minutes away and that worked out nicely. Drinks and food are a bit pricey but the service was good and the food was good as well. The wifi was spotty at best but all in all it was a great family vacation and I certainly will be returning to the Don Cesar!!

Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
Thank lsulaw91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DanielWalsh, Manager at The Don CeSar, responded to this reviewResponded August 8, 2013

Dear lsulaw91,

What a wonderful review of your recent family vacation!

Our location is our greatest asset, being so close to everything and also being planted on one of the most beautiful beaches around! I'm glad you and your family were able to enjoy all of the great amenities of the hotel as well as spend some quality days just over the bridge at Busch Gardens. Great locations make for great vacations!

Thank you again for your feedback, we hope to see you again soon!


Best,

Daniel Walsh, VIP Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Don CeSar

Address: 3400 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706-4015
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > St. Pete Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#3 Green Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#3 Spa Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#6 Family Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#6 On the Beach Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#8 Romantic Hotel in St. Pete Beach
Price Range: $259 - $482 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Don CeSar 4*
Number of rooms: 277
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Known as Florida's "Pink Palace," The Don CeSar, facing the white sands of the Gulf of Mexico, was built in 1928 to resemble a Mediterranean-style castle. Born in the Great Gatsby era as a playground for the rich and famous, the iconic "Pink Palace" has been revitalized and refreshed within, ensuring a future as rich and storied as its history. Enjoy newly redesigned 277 luxurious rooms including 36 suites, many with spectacular views of the pristine Gulf beaches or Boca Ciega Bay. Relax and indulge at Spa Oceana, featuring over 11,000 square feet of spa facilities, luxurious spa treatments, full service salon, and a stunning rooftop garden overlooking the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Don Cesar Beach Hotel
Don Cesar Beach Resort
Don Cesar Hotel Florida
Don Cesar Florida
Hotel Don Cesar Beach
Don Cesar Resort
The Don CeSar St. Pete Beach, Florida

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